Thursday, January 12, 2012

What happened to my sleeping child?

I’ve admitted it before.  If baby sleep is a spectrum, we safely landed on the good to great end of it with Rory.  We struggled in the first three months like all new parents do, but by the three month marker (like to the day) our little man was sleeping through the night (from 9pm to 7am) and making most other moms want to scratch my eyes out.

Well, if any of you are still harbouring any baby sleep animosity about how good we really had it, let me officially put that to bed for you. We are having MAJOR toddler sleep issues, and at 7.5 months pregnant and a mother already...  I can honestly say I have never been this tired in my life, and I have no idea what to do about it. I am losing (what is left of ) my mind.

So here’s the skinny. The only thing skinny right now. :) Our bath/book/bed routine hasn’t changed, Rory is napping well at daycare, they tell me he’s super happy at daycare and I can see that when I pick him up, he’s getting tons of fresh air, he is eating well, he is drinking enough, he is happy at night before bed – I JUST DON’T GET IT.    I would love to blame it on all the changes that are swirling around, but the truth is, he’s been doing this for a few months now. Maybe since about 14-15 months so that really can’t be it.

So here is what is happening, it’s pretty simple.  We put him to bed awake around 7ish. He chats for a bit in bed and usually is asleep by 730.   That part is great.   What happens is he wakes up in the middle of the night, maybe around 11, sometimes around 1am, sometimes it's 2am, and he just starts playing in his crib.  He laughs, he talks, he sometimes jumps, he basically parties in his bed.   And he is LOUD.   It’s almost impossible to sleep while he is carrying on. Mostly because I am worried he will stay up all night, which he has done TWICE already.   ALL NIGHT!!!!   He’s 18 months!?? How is that even possible???

I asked our doctor about all of this at Rory’s 18 month check up, and she shrugged and told me to ignore him. “Shut your door, don’t go to him, and he will eventually go back to sleep”.  The thing is, I don’t actually think he cares if we go into his room or not. He’s not crying, he’s not calling for us,  he has his blanket and soother, he is not asking for milk, or to be rocked, or even to be picked up... he is PARTYING.  Most nights he is having way too much fun to be bothered with a visit from his ma or pa to tell him to quiet down.  He just says “Hiya”, or tells us to “Shush” or says “Night Night” when we come in.  I know – cheeky little child I have.

So here’s the thing I’ve noticed recently that I am wondering about... More than a few times now I have gone in and he is actually lying down with his eyes closed. He seems asleep. At first I thought maybe I had been hearing things and he wasn’t talking but then I get back to my bed and it starts again, then I thought he is just trying to fake me out and pretend he is sleeping?  But now I think that some of the talking and laughing MIGHT just actually be in his sleep?? Is that possible???  Last night this went on from 1030pm to 230am?  I am a WRECK.  And he woke up with a HUGE smile on his face?    So I guess I need to do some research, is it really possible that this is sleep talking?  Could this be some weird state of REM where he actually is getting sleep/rest?  Because if not, there is no way a kid his age can be functioning as well as he is on such little sleep. I know I am barely functioning and I am just listening to it!!


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